By Molly Hulsey
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Tre Chambers has always been fast, and this year, the impact he has made on the Tiger track and field team has been equally quick.
In his first two weeks as a collegiate athlete, Chambers posted Mizzou's top times in both the 60m and 200m dash (6.74 and 21.78, respectively). His quick adjustment to college athletics has earned him a spot at the opening round of NCAA Championships, held later this month.
As a high schooler, Chambers' future in track was not always certain. A natural athlete who excelled in track, basketball, and football throughout his childhood years, Chambers narrowed his focus to track and football in high school, most especially football.
Chambers qualified for state competition in his first meet of his sophomore season. After a third-place finish in the Class 5A state championships, his talent and future in the sport became hard to ignore. A severe high ankle sprain in his junior football season cemented Chambers' eventual decision to forego his football career and focus solely on track.
"It was a very difficult decision to make," Chambers said. "I love football, but I felt as if I had a brighter future in track if I fully committed, so at the end of my junior year I decided to only do track."
With his concentration on the sport, Chambers began to earn national attention for his performance. In his senior season, he ranked third in the nation in the 60m dash, and earned state titles in the 100m and 200m dashes. Chambers is proud of his successes, but knows they are just the beginning.
"It was nice to be ranked in the top ten and be recognized for all my hard work," Chambers said. "It definitely gave me a lot of confidence coming into college, but I realize in order to remain competitive I have to keep getting faster."
Faster he is. His season-best times of 10.37 and 21.04 in the 100m and 200m dashes easily eclipse his high school marks, and his improvement is no accident. Setting goals is a part of his preparation that Chambers places high importance on, and one that has helped him and his team.
"When I first got to campus, I talked to Coach Peterson and we came up with a plan," Chambers said. "My goals were to be an immediate contributor to the team and I was fortunate enough to be able to do so."
With specific goals in mind, Chambers enters the postseason with a clear direction and mindset. He knows what he wants to see when looking back at his career: a two time All-American, All-Big 12 competitor in an individual event every season, and a Big 12 Champion. With the support of the coaching staff and his teammates, Chambers is confident his dreams will become reality.
"Coach Halter is fully committed to winning and having a championship program," Chambers said. "I feel it has elevated our team's performance all season, and kept our family-like bond."